Have you noticed any blanked out avatars or websites in your travels lately? February 16 – 23, 2009 thousands of New Zealanders are protesting “Guilt Upon Accusation” pending new section 92A of their Copyright Act being brought in by Copyright (New Technologies) Amendment Act 2008 No. 27 that they say
assumes Guilt Upon Accusation and forces the termination of internet connections and websites without evidence, without a fair trial, and without punishment for any false accusations of copyright infringement.
This legislation reportedly puts the emphasis on internet service providers (ISPs) having to police who is using their services and, according to Juha Saarinen of Techsploder blog,
under the new law, anyone who provides any form of services over the Internet is an ISP. That means libraries, councils, schools, businesses, government offices, you name it. If you share your Internet connection with your flatmates, you’re probably an ISP too under the new act.
To protest, those active on the Internet have decided to blank out their avatars, websites, Facebook and MySpace pages.
More detail about the problem with the S. 92A is given by ISPANZ (Internet Service Provider Association of New Zealand) in a release posted January 21, 2009. A Facebook page has been created to rally support. The Creative Freedom NZ website gives instructions on how to take part in the protest.
Among those taking part is well-known actor and comedian Stephen Fry who blanked out his Twitter avatar. When he posted a link to information about the effort on the GeekZone website, their servers became overloaded. Story here.